Dawn's Letter to Angel

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I'm sending you Buffy's journals. I don't know if she would have wanted you to see them, but I do. I would like for you to read them. You see, I don't think you realized the pain that you caused her. Or, maybe you did and it's just that old habits are hard to break. After all, Angelus left a trail of misery where he went.

My sister was 17 years old and in love the first time you broke her heart. She blamed herself for turning you into Angelus, for hurting the person - you - that she loved the most in a blind moment of passion. And, Angelus, well he ripped her heart open with his words and shredded her self-confidence. Did you ever tell her that his words were a lie? No. I know that you can't thank someone for sending you to hell, but did you ever even talk to her about what happened when you were Angelus? Or when you awakened Acathla? No. Did you know that she wanted forgiveness for having to choose to save the world over you?

When you returned from hell, Buffy's only thoughts were how to help you. I don't think you even knew how much she tormented herself because of what you had suffered. I think she would gladly have taken your place to spare you that pain. She tried to walk away from you, knowing that what she wanted from you she couldn't have. But you wouldn't let her. And once again, Buffy risked her life to save yours from the First Evil and from yourself.

Buffy was happy again to be with you once you two had managed to patch together a new relationship. Of course, I never understood where you were when she lost her slayer skills on her 18th birthday. She sure took a beating on that one. Then there was that whole Faith thing. I know you'll say that you only did what Buffy asked, but her heart was fragile and her confidence low which made it easy to hurt her again. But, that just set her up for the big hurt when you broke her heart yet again right before Prom.

I guess I haven't met anyone that I loved enough to risk my life for them, much less try to kill someone or offer up my life for them the way that Buffy did for you. I know that she forced you, but how did it feel to feed off her? She knew that it wouldn't change your mind about leaving her, but I know she hoped just the same.

Buffy always tried to hide it, but we all knew she was unhappy. She tried for a while to move on with her life, she dated several great guys that were crazy about her, but she couldn't love them since she had given her heart away or was too afraid to try. Even Spike loved her. And she needed someone, needed to feel something, and hoped that it would somehow be the same as it had been with you - but with Spike it was just, well, empty and meaningless.

Did you know that she knew about Connor? She was hurt when she found out through Spike and not from you. She would have given anything to have shared him with you, the child she would never have, but you didn't give her that chance. You always thought that you knew what was best for her, but I think you really went with what was best for you.

And when you starting seeing Cordelia, did you know that she called Buffy to tell her? Not once, but several times? She left intimate details of your relationship on our answering machine ensuring that Buffy knew that your soul was permanent and you were more than capable of a sexual relationship. The last time she called, it was to make sure to tell Buffy how you had described your relationship with Buffy as a "crush", but that what you and Cordelia shared was "real". Well, Cordy always was one to pour salt in the wounds.

Looking back, I'd have to say it was shortly after that when Buffy gave up hope. She changed. She worked harder than ever, finishing her B.A. in Psychology and starting to work as an intern in the addiction counselling program at the hospital. But, she was still patrolling and slaying every night. Willow, Xander and I all wonder now how we didn't see it coming - she was burning out and we didn't even notice. Her emotions had been the thing that had given her imagination, an edge, when fighting. When she closed down emotionally, she lost that. Sure, her technique was flawless and physically, she was in phenomenal shape. But, ultimately it wasn't enough.

Her last words in her journal were about you - how much she loved you and missed you, but she resolved to be strong and move on, just as you had done. And you know, I think she might have turned things around eventually - if she'd had more time.

Buffy would have been 25 in a few months. That makes her almost one of the oldest slayers on record. We miss her.

I know that having a soul has made you suffer for all the terrible things that you did as Angelus. Do you also suffer for the hurt that you caused as Angel?


P.S The new slayer has been called. Her name is Chelsea. I've told her about your extraordinarily cruel way of destroying slayers, so I suggest you stay out of her way.

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